Does anyone have experience to share about moving their furniture down

Hello everyone,

My husband, Enrique, and I are planning to move to Ajijic sometime in 2016. My husband was born in Mexico but hasn't lived there for over 30 years. We met when I was doing a studies abroad program in Guadalajara in college. After we married, we moved to the U.S., raised a family, and Enrique has operated a veterinary practice in S. Florida since 1986. Our daughter is now grown and off on her own and we feel a yearning to return to Mexico. But,  we have so many questions! The relocation process seems overwhelming. So glad this forum exists!

At this point, I guess we're trying to figure out what the first step should be. We're thinking of making a visit to Ajijic in the next couple of months and staying for a week, just to get a feel for the place. We spent a few days there last year, but we need to approach our next visit as potential residents rather than tourists. Any recommendations regarding things we should do or places we should go during that visit? We were thinking we'd rent for the first year, but I'm not sure what to do about furniture. Unlike many expats, we really want to keep our furniture. Does anyone have experiences to share about moving their furniture down?

I look forward to our adventure and to meeting those of you that live in the Lake Chapala area.

Shannon and Enrique Borrego

Hi Ratona,

Welcome to :)

I have created a new thread with your post on the Mexico forum for more visibility and interactions with the members.


Priscilla  :cheers:

Google Strom White Movers based in Ajijic.  They can give a quote so you can tell if it's worth it ..... or better to sell it and buy more here

dont take any.  buy it from expats moving back north

I did it the easy way.

  United Van Lines had a relationship with a company that knew all the ins and outs for preparing and valuing the inventory in Spanish.

Except for just enough stuff I was not going to leave behind under any circumstances, I probably could have bought new for the same or less than  what I paid for the move.

It's something to consider.

We're in the same boat as you.  We love some of our furniture and don't want to part with it, but some like couch, living room chairs, the boy's beds and our dining room set we can sell here.  But our bed, armoire, 2 antique dressers and some smaller family pieces we don't want to part with.  We've thought of just trying to move those down ourselves by buying a trailer and pulling it behind our van. Maybe even each have a trailer to pull behind two vehicles.  I know everyone says "sell!" but we have pieces that have sentimental value and I also love to decorate and don't know that I'll find pieces in styles I even like, if that makes sense.  Is there anyone else there that's had this same feeling?

I am with you. We are also thinking of moving everything because of the sentimental value. Not all, but most. We will need to figure out some places to get this done from Canada to Mexico.

First, I would store those items, and come down to stay awhile and look around. That way you would have your stuff safe somewhere, and you can investigate what others did, and how your things might or might not fit. I still have some minor items with my son, but most of the memorabilia are with family, and I am not sorry, because they just wouldn't work here. also eventually those things would go to family anyway. It's expensive shipping going both directions.

Do not bother.  Use furniture is used furniture.   Sell it and bring money.  You will have to pay  shipping fees.  and import fees.  You can sell it where you  are.    Brin g money to Mexico and over happy.   Get new wonderful things.

You can go to your Mexican consulate & apply for Menaje de casa
To make one time move with stamped documents...but you still pay a,fee at border crossing

Here is my experience, only 3 days old. United Van lines did all the packing and inventory numbering at our residence and moved the contents from the house on December 31. Their counterpart in Mexico, Thesla, translated the document into spanish and emailed the document back to me in 3 days. After which, we prepared the Manaje de Casa in the format required by the Mexican consulate in Detroit. The consulate reviewed the document and after 3 revisions approved it. By this time our household contents were already in Laredo waiting for the approved consulate document, which I FedEx'd yesterday. United's moving fee includes hiring a customs broker to facilitate the border transfer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed but it seems all is working as planned.

The one, but significant hiccup which occurred is the consulate was not accepting some of the items the way we had described them, our rolled are rugs was translated to mean rolled carpets. We were told we had too many. After further discussions the consulate understood the rugs to be wall to wall carpeting. So we had to redefine the items. Boxes that were identified as decorations was too vague, so we had to be more specific. There were a number of other examples like this but eventually had it all straightened out. While communicating with our point persons at both United and Thesla, they indicated they had never had this problem before and felt it might be an issue with the consulate, the person at the consulate of a change of conditions instituted by Mexico through their consulates or all three.

As I'm sure you have discovered on this site as well as others, not everything is black and white.So have patience and you will get through it.

We will be entering Mexico the first of February, if there is more to this experience I will post it.

My experience was with a international move expert contacted by the Las Vegas, NV branch of United Van Lines,  My move was quite small consisting of computers, electronics a plasma TV and some memorabilia.  We went back and forth a couple of times on how to describe each item and value it.  Nothing was questioned by Mexican Customs.  The cost was far more than the items were worth except to me.  So I figure I got a good deal.  Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the International move company.

You'll learn, I guess you have, that individual offices of every Mexican government department and agency has a great deal of autonomy.  Keep a smile on your face and things work out.

Good luck and welcome to Mexico.

Wonderful for you!
Can you give us some idea of what the fees have been so far? 
I too would want to bring my stuff, but am being told same thing.  ....sell and buy there.  But I have not seen any Americans selling their possessions in Merida so I have no idea where to access such.  I like Mexico but have attachments also to certain items.
Thank you

AlicatAZ wrote:

Wonderful for you!
Can you give us some idea of what the fees have been so far? 
I too would want to bring my stuff, but am being told same thing.  ....sell and buy there.  But I have not seen any Americans selling their possessions in Merida so I have no idea where to access such.  I like Mexico but have attachments also to certain items.
Thank you

The idea is to sell your stuff in the US and not go through the red tape of importing it duty free into Mexico.  If you do, your not permitted to sell it in Mexico.  Technically, you have to take it all out with you if and when you leave.

Costs?  If you use professionals, $5,000 would be about the minimum for just personal effects and some memorabilia.

I can't offer any information on bringing it in yourself by land.